Until I turned off notifications from my email app on my phone, I was receiving over 405 (not kidding - spam, newsletters, emails, game notices and other app notices) notifications a day from that one app alone. Those are “dings” and “bells” going off 405 times a day for just that app. 90% of the time I glance at the phone to see if the email is important. That’s 350+ moments I’m pulled from what I’m doing. Which equates to 20-30 accumulated minutes a day of deciding if I should open the phone. 38 times it was important, which results in about 3 hours of time from 5am to 9pm that I’m answering email on my phone. Not including the full hour I spend in the morning and evening clearing out what is and isn’t important so I can keep on top of as clean an inbox as possible. Shocking? Maybe you should analyze your day. So I asked, could I stick to the hour in the morning and evening to sort, delete, and answer email? 95% of the time, I could and do. I added a 20-30 minute sort, delete, answer method around lunch time.
What was around 5 hours a day answering and dealing with email is now a purposeful 2.5 hours a day. More important, by dumbing my phone down, I cut 405 moments from my life that pulled me from focus and many times resulted in senseless time on my smartphone. That is the key, holding focus on what matters most. Shocking!
What else am I allowing to pull my focus? Clickbait I saw while answering an important email? TV on in the background for no reason? A game on my smartphone? And this is just one tip from this great book that seeks to help you focus on what matters and not be tired at the end of the day. I should add that I’ve also cleared newsletter subscriptions that do not matter anymore and any other bits that are useless. I hope to reduce 405 significantly but then again, I turned off the notifications, I’ll never hear them or feel the familiar “buzz” again. :)